Tag Archives: brother

A Night of Art-ness Pt 2


Last night Sharkboy, Mom and a couple of her friends were treated to A Chorus Line by my brother Michael, who I thank with all my cultured heart.

Mike had “arranged them”. So I had to get them from the press desk at the theatre, which resulted in this conversation with the two most bitterest press desk employees ever:

Me: “I’m here to pick up tickets”
PD1: “Name?”
Me: “They’re under Michael Healey.”
PD1: “You’re not Michael Healey!”
Me: “I’m his brothe–”
PD2: (finding the tickets during all this and thrusting them at me) “CONGRATULATIONS. NEXT!”
Me: “…And his mother is coming too, you really don’t want to cross her.”

Bitter cow. Not even giving me the satisfaction to gloat over my brother’s success.

Every ten minutes after the show, Mom would turn to me and ask who paid for the tickets.

“Mirvishes,” I would say, which wasn’t far from the truth.

At this point, I would like to state that since I got the last two days of theatre tickets for free, my brother and I are now even for all those times I had to get up at 2am to go get his asthma medicine in the 70s. I absolve you of this debt.

Prior to the show, Sharkboy and I split up to try to intercept Mom as she arrived at The Canon Theatre. Who makes two entrances to a popular theatre on two different city blocks? I am sure many of dates are destroyed because the simple statement “I’ll meet you there” turns connecting outside the theatre a mood killing process. Anyway, Sharkboy took the Victoria Street entrance in case her cabbie took her to the “box office” while I stayed on Yonge at the “Main entrance”.

I see my Mom and her friends after a while and we greet each other with hugs. As this is going on, none of us notice the huge black SUV pull up to the curb beside us. I tell Mom to go to her seats while I go collect Sharkboy from the other entrance and we’ll be together soon. I turn to head around the block.

Wham. My nose makes contact with a solid wall of suit covered beef.

I hit a body guard.

One of David Mirvishes‘ body guards.

“Excuse me!” we respond simultaneously, politely.

I’m spinning around to see David Mirvish again but they’re swept into the theatre. I wanted to thank him for the tickets and insist that he continue to commission work from my brother.

By the way, I loved A Chorus Line. It was schmaltzy, self centred, self deprecating, navel gazing musical theatre that had me humming it’s tunes even as I type this.

A Night of Art-ness

Celebs and Media, Distractions, Personal Bits, Toronto

Da At Art With HeartLast night was a busy one for me. Da and I decided to do some Father/Son bonding while hobnobbing (what the hell does that word mean, anyway?) with Toronto’s art elite at Art With Heart.

Da’s never been in the Carlu and was curious as to it’s grandeur. It didn’t disappoint. It’s a beautiful deco setting and the art that was placed throughout was amazing (the website doesn’t convey the demanding presence some pieces command). I have to comment here that the volunteer staff were clockwork perfect. Pleasant, informed docets docents (Andrew helps me spelling!) cheerfully provided information on the art and never patronized. In all, a very organized successful event… I hope. I haven’t heard any numbers back yet, but the joint was packed, and considering Fashion sCares is this Saturday, I hope they made their target numbers!

Find My Brother!Then we shuffled down to Canadian Stage to see my brother in Frost/Nixon. I have to admit that due to some of the reviews coming out of Vancouver, I wasn’t hopeful for this production. But when the curtain fell, I can tell you I was very entertained and greatly surprised. They have worked out all the problems mentioned in previous reviews, except the worrisome opinion that Len Cariou’s Nixon was not satisfactorily mimicking enough, which I tend to agree. I yearned to see the Nixon I remembered as a kid but got a sketch of that ideal. Not saying he did a bad job, he was captivating, but there was no jowly “Rich Little” kind of character play (which my brother does rather spookily at one point).

Oddly enough most of the cast and crew had been in science fiction TV shows (Battlestar, Stargate, RoboCop), including my brother, at one point in their career. Does this say something about Canadian culture?

Tonight, Sharkboy and I are off to see A Chorus Line with Mumsey! I’m being exposed to more culture than an open chest wound in an emergency ward!

Weekend Roundup

Distractions, Hobbies, Toronto

Dan rocks outOn Saturday, SharkBoy and I had a dinner for my brother, The Professor, who was returning to England on Sunday. We made veggie chili with chocolate, in consideration of Emma, who I just learned last week has become meatless. Dumping a fist full of semi-sweet chips into chili may sound odd, but it brought out a “depth” to the taste as well as a dirty, naughty feeling. SharkBoy made a blazingly tasty salad and a somewhat mushy cheesecake pie, which we all decided was delish, but needed a few more hours in the fridge.

After dinner, we all retired to the media room for a rousing game of Guitar Hero, which the Professor sucked at (love him dearly, but you’d think of all those years at discos would give him more rhythm), and then on to Mario Cart, which he did exceedingly better at. See you again soon, Professor!

Political BraiiiinsSunday was the Zombie Walk 2008. After some scouring of dollar stores for props and cheap makeup, we came up with (cue theremin) Zombie Mechanics!! oooo! We didn’t want to rip up our original Halloween costumes so we chose this last minute switch. I think we did quite well, considering it was 90% improv on the day of makeup application. The Mailman joined us and found the day …interesting. When we got there there was the added surprise of a Cardboard Battle – two teams made of elaborate costumes made of only cardboard and duct tape battled each other for …supremacy? Bragging rights? Either way, some of them were pretty cool. One of the best costumes was a Tonka truck yellow, digger handed teddy bear, who fought like a trooper. With that going on, it was easy to see that the event had grown exponentially since last year. I think the Toronto Zombie Walk people need to consider they have a monster on their hands. A cheap $5 megaphone doesn’t convey much information to 1500 people. I bet there will be more organization next year because the cops were getting a pit pissed at the size of the crowd spilling out onto Queen Street.

Gallery of some zombies here… my camera’s batteries died half way through the day.

Teen Confession Day at Dead Robot:

Personal Bits

• Just after getting my drivers license, a girl ran into my dad’s car while on her bike when she was cycling the wrong way along a one way street. I moved out into the intersection and she t-boned the side of the car, sliding across the hood. She got up and continued without comment. I nearly never drove again after that.

• I had to shoo a bat out of the TV room because my two older brothers were too scared to.

• I once tried to convince my mom that the pot plant in my bedroom was “a vine” I got from my sister.

• I would talk to an abandoned car while walking home from school. Thankfully it never talked back.

• I wanted Michael Shilkin to actually die from the cancer he lied to us about having.

• Of the three female nipples I’ve tasted, two were alarmingly odd in flavour.

• I suspected my parents of having elaborate dinner parties to swap partners, not actually to advance their social standing in backwater Brockville.

• My brother’s girlfriend once called my ass “Cute”. In my entire life, my ass has never received any higher compliment other than “cute”.

• As a teen, I didn’t mind chores. But I did try constantly to get out of them.

• From ages 15 to 17, I had Star Wars wallpaper. One girl I dated and invited up to my teenage smelling room, gave me such grief for having character-based decorating skills that she let slip that our class president at the time, had Batman pajamas.

• It wasn’t until my 43rd birthday that I realized the slut I dated in high school knew that the class president had kiddie pjs by way of spending the night at his place somehow.

England Memory #4 – Knife Fight Edition


My first weekend in London, my brother and his boyfriend invite me down to their neighbourhood to experience my first English pub, outside the touristy Earls Court area. The Prince of Wales pub, just outside the tube station at Brixton (now closed down, I think) was smoky, loud and packed. My brother forced me to buy a round of drinks from my fast dwindling finances, just so I could experience bar service in London.

I had 1000 questions, like “Is the beer really warm?” (yes) and “Do I tip?” (is the barman sexy?) and “Am I going to have to buy all the rounds, every time?” (no, maybe, yes, how drunk are we?), but instead my brother just thrusted me towards the bar and let me experience it as it was.

Which was really why I was in England, really. I was a 21 year old green kid fresh from Ontario, living in England on advice from an OCAD recruiter, who thought if I was serious about being an artists, I needed to get away from my middle class life (I wasn’t accepted into their school, BTW).

Over the din of the bar, I shout the orders at the barman. He shouts back. I falter. I have no clue what he just said. The noise and his Scottish accent throws me. My first real Scotsman! He has a red goatee! I tipped him.

I went back a few times to get rounds for our table. 11pm came way too fast and I wound up spending most of the evening chatting up the barman, which lead to us making plans to go back to his place after they closed up the bar. My brother was upset that I had been in London for a week and managed to “tap off” so quickly.

We get back to the barman’s place via a cab that travelled deeper into the south of London (more south than I’ve ever been). Lovely house. Could barmen afford houses in south London? Did I care? We run upstairs, enter his bedroom, shucking clothes like they were on fire. Did I notice that the bedroom was full of cardboard boxes? Did that matter?

We’re about to get into the real meat and potatoes of shagging when the frond door the floor swings open.

“Stay here,” he says and grabs his shorts, leaving the bedroom, shutting the door behind him. Naively, I lay back and wait for his return, not even wondering why he would stop our coupling to go talk to his “flat mate”.

Muffled noises come from beyond the bedroom door. Louder muffled voices. Louder muffled voices punctuated with breaking furniture. Glass breaks. Shouts.

At this point, my pants are on and I’m heading for the top of the stairs. The barman is on his way up, with his chest covered in blood. I don’t see any cuts on him so I don’t ask where it came from, but he offers up an explanation of sorts: his boyfriend (“You have a boyfriend?” “Donnae everyone?” “Were you going to tell me?”) came home unexpectedly and after discussing their current living arrangements, had somehow managed to shove himself through the French doors that lead out from the dining room. As I descend the stairs, I can see that most of the furniture is at 90 degrees to whatever angle it should be at. No sign of the boyfriend, thankfully.

As the front door closes behind me, I manage to ask: “Where is the nearest minicab from here?”


I did manage to find a cab. And relating the story back to my brother nearly got me shipped back to Toronto.